Friday, June 27, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo's!

2014 Halloween Candy
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I can think of no better word to sum up what we are looking at right now than diabetes.

I've no idea what mad scientist concocted the formula that finally brought together Oreo Cookies and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups but I am fully convinced that this is the final straw that pushes our society towards the breaking point and gives everyone in America full fledged diabetes.

And I mean all of this in the best possibly way.

Because holy crap guys, it is Oreo Cookies flavored like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Two of the most delightfully devilish things on the face of the planet, combined like Voltron into a snake food capable of ending World Wars.

I've swore off writing about Oreo's prior to finding these bad boys. Having felt that Nabisco had went to the proverbial 'well of bizarre flavors' far to many times and in to subsequent of a fashion.

Fruit Punch Oreo's are pretty awesome but the impact is lessened when they are surrounded by ones that taste like watermelon and ice cream or anniversary editions combined with birthday cakes, and about eighteen other "limited" variates.

This, however, is exactly what Nabisco needed to get me interested in writing about cookies again. Two big time heavyweight juggernauts coming together to make magical snack-time sex all over your kitchen counter.

My only regret is that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo's didn't come out in October and in a big old orange and black package. That would have been enough to stop my heart and call the season over in one big artificial peanutbutter flavored swoop.

This could have won the entire Halloween Season, had they just been given a chance. Instead we get them in the middle of summers warm grasp.

Not that the release date diminishes just how friggin' cool they are. But I still cannot help but to wonder 'what if' they had been released in October? 

2014 Halloween Candy
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On the positive side, writing so many times about Oreo Cookies I have developed my own personal degree in Oreo Cookie Photography. I'd like to think at this point I can capture the very essense of what these cookies represent.

Clearly. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo's are best enjoyed with the lights off, a thunderstorm building off in the distance, and a muddy old VHS copy of "Friday the 13th" playing in the background.

The best part about these cookies is that they 100% deliver on the notion of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups fused with Oreo Cookies. Without question. That is what they are.

And they are good.

Scary good, in fact. Like most of the other limited edition Oreo's, Nabisco has nailed the scent down to a near perfect aroma. As soon as you break open the seal you'll get smacked in the face with the undeniable smell of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

And they taste exactly how you would expect them to. Like some crazy, wild eyed scientist scooped out the inside of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and jammed it between two Oreo Cookies.

So I guess to wrap this up I'd suggest that everyone goes out and buys these right now. Enjoy a package during the summer months but to truly get the most out of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cookies, I'd say to stick some in the freezer and when the fall season finally arrives... enjoy a batch while you wait for The Great Pumpkin to rise up from the ground.

Is it October yet?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vanilla Pepsi-Cola: New for 2014!

Vanilla Pepsi
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A new combatant has entered the arena and is ready to challenge for the title of Best New Summer Beverage of 2014. Behold Vanilla Pepsi-Cola! Releasing for a "limited time only" this summer season!

... actually "new" is a bit of a stretch for this one. It is more like the return of a formally discontinued flavor of Pepsi. The original Vanilla Pepsi hit back in 2003, during that brief period of time when vanilla was being added to literally every soft drink imaginable.

My mind seems to point to this fad starting around the Christmas Season, which makes the return of Vanilla Pepsi in the midst of the summer months seem just a little strange at first. But once you dive past that little nugget of information, which probably really only bothers me and absolutely nobody else on the face of the planet, you are left with a drink that actually works increasingly well as a summertime beverage.

At some point the original version of Vanilla Pepsi was discontinued and everyone sort of moved on from vanilla themed drinks. Coke probably still sells its variation someplace but that is only because Coke never seems to discontinue anything. Just shove it into twelve pack containers and hide them off in a dark corner someplace. Nobody buys them except your grandmother and even then, it could just be leftover soda from eight years ago.

Vanilla Pepsi has made a comeback this year to not much fanfare or flair. I am here to correct this. I absolutely 100% love this junk. And I've drank an unhealthy amount of it while writing this article.

To the point that I am pretty sure my gravestone will dictate that I shorted my lifespan by five years: "due to drinking to much Vanilla Pepsi-Cola"

So the new version of this soda is made with real sugar. As opposed to whatever bullshit sugar substitute Pepsi is typically made with these days. You know times are rough when sugar is touted as a healthy alternative.

Overall whatever they have done to the flavor is clearly a winning combination. The vanilla seems to have been dialed back from 'punch you in the fucking face' levels of intensity and reeled more towards 'Bob Ross Happy Trees Vanilla.'

I've literally no idea what that last statement is supposed to mean.

I don't really know how to end this article either. Therefore, Vanilla Ice:

word to your mother

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reviving An Old Jason Hockey Mask: Part I

Today I finally hit my breaking point, caved in and turned on the air-conditioning. Perhaps the biggest sign that we are officially smack dab in the middle of the Summer Season.

I am winding down the end of a very long stretch of about three months of absolute work related hell, including not having a day off in about a month now. Thankfully that BS is just about over with and before I start whatever job comes next, I am taking all of July off to just relax and catch up with whatever comes my direction.

But mostly I plan on spending next month doing exactly what I am doing right now. Sitting inside under the AC and plugging away on the computer.

It has been far to long since I've written anything meaningful, both on and off this website. That is going to change. Just like the five million other projects that I've wanted to get done but simply haven't had the time to accomplish.

So in-between breaks of sitting inside and dinking around on the PC I've busted out a few of my Halloween props that need refurbished. Starting with this old Jason Mask:

This mask and I go way back. I am pretty confident that it was one of the first Halloween props that ever entered my household, pumpkins and cheap party decorations withstanding.

I don't know when it was purchased but it has been laying around my place for literally as long as I can remember.

Been through different stages of wear and tear as well. Once, many many moons ago it used to glow in the dark. And not like the cheap spray on glowing paint they put on today's junk. This one is made of actual old school glow in the dark plastic. The kind that only those of us old enough to remember the late 80's and early 90's can attest to.

Eventually time would start to slow this mask down and years of Halloween related abuse started to kick in. But it always remained my favorite prop. Always worked its way into every display I've ever done.

It even accompanied me through various Haunted Houses that I've helped out with over the years. Once, it went missing for two full years before turning back up after accidentally getting tossed into a box with a bunch of other, lesser quality, Jason masks.

If this mask was a person, it would probably be my oldest and best of friends. I cannot imagine an October passing without it.

Therefore once every few years I like to refurbish this mask. Part of me wishes that I'd kept it in its original glow in the dark form and purchased a second one to muck around with painting.

But that decision was made years ago and there is no real way to revert it back to its old state. Therefore, I just try to enjoy sprucing it up when the occasion calls for it.

The photo above is after a few layers of primer paint. It makes absolutely no since that a mask I will ultimately age down and make look dirty and worn must first be cleaned and primed to look as smooth as possible.

Being the Summer Season in Iowa is always a bit of a mixed bag. It gets hot. Humid. Full of bugs. And storms suddenly pop up out of absolutely nowhere.

Painting up this mask was totally a one day project but mother nature decided to throw a curve ball my direction and toss up rain shower or two.

That was alright. It gave me the perfect excuse to go back inside and catch up with my new favorite obsession, Friday the 13th: The Series!

While everyone else is busy watching "Game of Thrones" I am sitting over here catching up on a TV show about a pawn shop full of haunted artifacts and the dipshit owners who inherent, and must subsequently track them all down after being sold off by there lunatic uncle.

It's the greatest television show ever made.

We'll dive much deeper into Friday the 13th: The Series come Halloween time. At which point I fully plan on overloading you guys with Friday the 13th related content. Hope you are ready!

Now, I've got to go track down some paintbrushes and finish the rest of this mask. Stay spooky everyone.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Planting the Seeds of the Fall Season!

Now that I've gotten that really strange music video out of my system, I feel like I can actually accomplish today's post. Which is more of a quick update than an actual full fledged article. But this is important stuff we are about to discuss!

First off my month of June is going to be 100% crazy but things cool down considerably in July. Like, I've got the whole month off before I start job hunting in August. Yes that is correct I will be temporarily unemployed for about a month.

I'll have all the time in the world to write about whatever the Summer Season has to offer. And rumor has it it is going to involve TMNT flavored soft drinks! I cannot wait!

Until then I wanted to show you guys this: I finally got around to planing a hill of pumpkins! Space is limited and I only had room for one hill but I was sure to deck it out with a festive Halloween solar light!

If 'The Great Pumpkin' does not rise form this patch come October 31st then I've somehow failed at gardening and life.

Hobby Lobby Halloween 2014

... and speaking of the fall season check this out. I had a bit of insider info that Hobby Lobby was starting to clear out sections for its fall and winter merchandise. That was basically all I needed to make the trip and see for myself.

Sure enough I was greeted by two isles slowly starting to transform into the colors of fall! It was a bit of a double edged sword, though. While I love the fact that they are releasing PUMPKINS and things sold in orange packaging, everything here strikes me as more "Thanksgiving" than the spooky macabre that I typically associate Halloween with.

And for what it is worth on the opposite side of the store one isle had been cleared out and in its place sat a few rouge pieces of Christmas decor. Ribbon and a few lose bows. It wasn't much, and honestly I'm not sure I wanted to see much. But I do kind of enjoy the fact that familiar red and green packaging is slowly starting to creep its way out of hibernation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The (Best) Worst Metal Video Ever! Star & Dagger's IN MY BLOOD

I get distracted. Like really, really easily. It is why occasionally when I go to write a post it'll end up with like eight introduction paragraphs that don't really relate to the rest of the subject.


Like just now. I was planning on writing a quick post about something related to the fall season and decided that I needed some background music. I chose White Zombie's: Astro-Creep 2000  album due in large part because my playlist was at the bottom and scrolling upwards, it was the first band that I really felt like listing to.

Plus... they are sort of Halloween-ish and fit the the mood I was trying to achieve. But then I got distracted waiting for a photo to upload. And wondered whatever happened to Sean Yseult? You know the female bass player from White Zombie.

As it turns out Sean has continued to stay active within the music industry, even forming a new band called Star & Dagger! Which is like an instant score for me. This is how I've discovered a good bulk of the music that I listen to. Looking up someone from one band and finding out they are somehow connected to another band and then giving the new group a listen.

Before ever clicking on a single Star & Dagger track I knew that there would be like a 50% chance that they would be absolutely awful. Because that is always how this sort of shit works. Either the band is immediately great and you wonder how you've managed to go this long without previously listing to them (Tim Skold anyone?) ... or its just so downright bad that you instantly close the FireFox tab and pretend this side adventure never happened.

And if Star & Dagger was just flat out bad we wouldn't be here right now. Completely distracted from the post that I originally set out to type.

And for all I know Star & Dagger could have some really good gems floating around out there that I simply have not found yet. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt when I've got more time.

Right now we've got to talk about the bands music video for the single In My Blood. It is one of those things that I am quite frankly not sure why it exists but holy shit am I ever glad that I found it.

Ladies and gentlemen what you are about to witness is a tribute of sorts to Stanley Kubrick’s "The Shining" ... if Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" was shot on a $500 budget and stared some band that nobody has ever heard of.

Above is the full video. In all its low budget glory. Below you'll find a few of my personal favorite moments and observations from Star & Dagger's magnum opus of music videos.

And I want to do a quick prerequisite here. I am not necessarily trashing the band. Or the bands attempt to create something. That does not seem... right. They tried. They had an idea and they executed it as best as they could and I'll never knock anyone for trying to make a living doing what they want to do.

Besides, this video has a certain amount of charm to it that can only be captured by someone who cares ... and has absolutely no idea what they are doing at the exact same time. This is Ed Wood syndrome personified. And I could not be happier that it exists.

The Shining

Obvious Green Screen Is... Obvious: Do you know what the great thing about green screens are? When used correctly you can add in (or remove) parts of a frame and achieve effects that would otherwise be impossible. You can put actors in locations they are not, build fantasy worlds that don't exist, and create movie monsters that defy the human physique.

... that is of course assuming you've got the budget to pull it off. If you don't you'll just end up looking like your local Channel Six weather man talking about that low front moving in from Canada. I'll give you guys one guess as to which category this video falls into.

The Shining

These Twins Are Not Really Twins: As a matter of fact I am pretty sure they are not even sisters. Either way they don't even begin to resemble one another. Like, not even close.

So let's forget the fact that in the film these characters are supposed to be children. I will give them a pass on that one. Not finding two people who look kind of close to one another is a strange decision. And it is not even that difficult to find actual twins. I live in a small town in the midwest and I went to school with two sets of them.

So even if you only have a $500 budget surely someone could have posted an ad on Craigs List or something.

The Shining

The Lead Singer Looks Like A Blowup Doll: I'm sorry Lead Singer Lady, on the off chance that you should find this post, but pretty much every close up of you singing makes you look like a novelty blowup doll.

And your eye creeps me the fuck out.

So in a way Stanley Kubrick would probably be proud. In a really weird kind of way.

The Shining

My Personal Favorite Shot of the Video: I can just imagine the meeting between the band and the director of the video. One party selling the other on how awesome of an idea it would be to pay tribute to one of the greatest horror flicks of all time.

And someone comes up with the idea for this scene: "we can have this long shot of the hallway and we'll dress it up with blood splatters all over the walls and carpet. Only get this... instead of bodies we'll have musical instruments in there place! I'll be great!"

"Yea but won't that ruin the instruments?"

(dramatic pause)

"... no I've got... a.... plan for that."

Cut to three weeks and $500 later and you've got two guitars sitting on what appears to be some kind of red painted foil laying haphazardly on the ground.

And I 100% adore this effect. It is fan-fucking-tastic. You can tell that someone tried as hard as they could with absolutely no money to make this shot work... and essentially failed at every step along the way.

But it works. This whole thing works. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion that just so happened to be directed by Ed Wood instead of Stanley Kubrick.

I love this shot and I love this music video and am so glad that I decided to google the chick from White Zombie tonight.

I'll finish my other post tomorrow.